DeKalb homeowner charged after fatally shooting fleeing intruder, cops say

A suspected home invader was fatally shot Friday evening at a DeKalb County apartment, police said.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A suspected home invader was fatally shot Friday evening at a DeKalb County apartment, police said.

The resident of an apartment at a troubled DeKalb County complex has been arrested after he shot and killed a suspected intruder Friday night, authorities said.

Javonte Forts, 38, of Decatur, is facing charges of felony murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of a man suspected of stealing two televisions and attempting to take jewels from his apartment, DeKalb police said.

Officers were called to The Villas at Panthersville along Panthersville Road around 8:25 p.m. and located a man in his 40s dead from a gunshot wound to his back and neck. According to an incident report, Forts came home around 7:30 p.m. that day to find his apartment broken into and called 911.

While waiting for police to arrive, he heard a noise coming from his main bedroom and went to investigate. Inside, he confronted the intruder who was putting jewels into his pants pockets, the report states.

The intruder attempted to flee, but officials said Forts told him to remain at the scene until police arrived. The man left and started to walk toward a nearby vacant apartment, stating that the televisions were inside the unit, the report details.

While inside the vacant apartment, authorities said the man ran to the balcony and tried to close the glass door. That’s when Forts told officials that a scuffle ensued. The man jumped off the second-story balcony as Forts fired several shots at him while “he was running away,” an arrest warrant reveals.

The identity of the man killed was not released.

The apartments are among the 275 complexes identified in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Dangerous Dwellings” investigation that looked into serious crimes, lax maintenance and other hazards in Atlanta neighborhoods. From 2017 to 2021, police reported 138 crimes at The Villas, which included two homicides in January 2019 and one in March 2017, 19 aggravated assaults, four rapes and one arson.

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